LifeWatch posts up against CardioNet with Verizon deal

By: Brian Dolan | Jun 4, 2009        

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LifeWatchRemote cardiac monitoring company LifeWatch has inked an exclusive carrier agreement with Verizon Wireless for its mobile phone-based service for cardiac patients. LifeWatch’s LifeStar Ambulatory Cardiac Telemetry (ACT) service is a direct competitor to CardioNet’s MCOT service, but unlike CardioNet, the company uses the patient’s mobile phone to transmit the monitoring data. CardioNet uses a dedicated “pager-sized” device to collect and transmit its data.

LifeWatch has served some 60,000 patients with its ACT solution since its launch in the beginning of 2007, while CardioNet has  served close to 250,000 patients to date. CardioNet also has deals in place with payers that cover about 200 million lives.

“New avenues of development for both [Verizon Wireless and LifeWatch] will open as LifeWatch expands our innovation pipeline to remotely monitor patients for additional disease states and wellness conditions from virtually any location,” said Dr. Yacov Geva, Chairman and CEO of LifeWatch’s parent company Card Guard.

In May, CardioNet announced its new avenue for development: Monitoring patients for sleep apnea.

CardioNet, which had its initial public offering last year, also has pioneered the reimbursement effort for wireless health services after it attained a CPT code from CMS early in 2009. The reimbursement rate was the subject of heated rumors that CMS might reduce it by $200 in the near future, but so far the rate has remained at $1,123.07. 

At the recent CTIA Wireless event in Las Vegas, the West Wireless Health Institute’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Eric Topol pointed to heart failure as a top target for wireless remote monitoring since it affects some 5 million Americans.

Besides CardioNet and LifeWatch, companies like Intelli-Heart and eCardio are looking to compete with their own cardiac remote monitoring services, some of which do not include a wireless component. 

CardioNet has relied on its multiple studies to prove its solution’s efficacy over its competitors or legacy products as well as its CPT code to attract physicians and hospitals to buy its services.

Who do you think will come out on top in cardiac remote monitoring?

It may go without saying, but here’s hoping it’s the patients.

For more on the LifeWatch deal with Verizon Wireless, check out the company’s press release here.

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  • buddy frye

    Avoid this company “Lifewatch ” my wife was given this celluar monitor from Heart Doctor. It didn’t work half the time and now I found out the Insurance company want pay the $4500.00 we are being charged for just several weeks of use.

  • Anonymous

    Oh my that is scary…. I’m wearing one right now and I am getting scared…. Insurance company and the doctor that is requesting us to use this monitor should let us know the cost of this before hooking us up to this to find out that the insurance not going pay for it and now we a with a big bill to pay and we cannot afford it. HOW SAD IS THAT……

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  • Guest

    I was shocked  to find out that I am being billed almost 1000 dollars for this test. I understand that co’s are out for a profit need to make a profit but a 1000 dollars  after being paid 4000 from medicare and emblem health. This is wrong  and I will protest this and write to all appropriate authorities  inc NYSAG